Society&Art

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Coming Out [OZY]

At 6:30 am, Nov. 9, 1989, Christine Weigand’s alarm rang in Köpenick, a peripheral neighborhood of East Berlin. She woke up with a cold on the dark and rainy morning, but there was no time to take it easy. Coming Out, the first film about the secrets of “deviant” homosexuals in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), had its premiere that night. Why it is important: Story untold to international audience, one that questions common narratives (November 2019)

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Italy’s fascist past reverberates in Rome [DW]

“In the end, fascists never really disappeared,” says Pietro Di Placidi, as he cleans up Sgobbone restaurant after the lunchtime customers have left. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: It underlined how fascism remained in Italy (August 2019). The New Yorker wrote a VERY similar article a year later.

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Coronavirus: Rapid growth of board games market faces pandemic hurdles [DW]

The board games market registered 20% growth in 2020, riding the desire for “digital detox” and a break from tumultuous times. Despite the positive trend, new problems have emerged during the pandemic. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: Shows a societal change, impacting on people’s spending behaviours and global supply chains (February 2021)

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Onlyfans & Co.: Adult sites report record sign-ups from models during pandemic [DW]

Story idea, contacts and support with numbers (February 2021). WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: I pitched this article to New York Times, and Vice. They then wrote it internally, but without numbers and a solid understanding of the story itself. It took me three months to find data

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Freedom of the press, Ong: Italy 72nd with Congo, penultimate in Europe (ITALIAN) [Reuters]

Italy is a country whose press is partially free, like South Africa, the Philippines, Congo, Thailand and Nepal, ranking 72nd in the world, after Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago but also Israel, Greece and Chile (May 2010). WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: If there is one thing I will always fight for is the freedom of the press. Many anomalies in Italian and other European countries are often related to a weak press. The article introduced also Freedom House as a source in Italian media

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After the Lockdown: The media impact on Molenbeek [Cafébabel]

“The continuous flow of information from the news and newspapers – that totally lacked context and perspective – led to a panic reaction for a big part of the community,” comments Taïs, mother of one, “I myself spent way too much time on the internet following all the updates on the situation. That only fed my fear.” WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: Journalists have to be critical of journalists’ mistakes

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INTERVIEW-Tennis-Italians can shine individually – Barazzutti [Reuters]

Avuncular Fed Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti has quietly overseen a revolution in Italian tennis and now he wants his team to seize the moment and start winning big individual tournaments. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: Back then no one would ever think Italians could win Grand Slams (as it then happened with Schiavone and Pennetta). Credit also to Mark Meadows, who translated the article into English (April 2010)

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Coronavirus: Italy launches mental health service for lockdown [DW]

The COVID-19 outbreak has been wearing down Italians, who have lived under a strict lockdown since March 9. How bad the psychological consequences are depends on how long the crisis lasts. But there is help. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: First article on international press about mental health and lockdown (March 2020)

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Vanishing late-night stores spark battle over Berlin’s soul [OZY]

Berlin might never look the same again (November 2019). WHY IT IS IMPORTANT? Seriously?

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Reportage on the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (ITALIAN) [ArtTribune]

The Biennale, in Berlin until September 9, is less experimentation and perhaps less aesthetic refinement. Instead, it is a choral and adult event with clear themes: the creation and change of societies, the integration of minorities and migration. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: I was one of the few journalists underlining the social value of the Biennale (June 2018)

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Sweet-and-sour life of Chinese residents in Italy’s fashion capital [DW]

In Milan, Chinese finger food is becoming such a trend that its Chinatown is reportedly the country’s fastest growing real estate area. This zesty neighborhood is an example of the collaboration between China and Italy. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: It shed light on Chinese community in Milan (July 2019), first article of this type on international press

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Poles apart [Siegessäule]

Over the last twelve months, around 100 cities in Germany’s neighbor to the East have declared themselves to be “LGBT-free”. In response, Ber- liners held a demo on March 7 outside the Polish Institute Berlin, where SIEGESSÄULE contributor Sergio Matalucci spoke to some of the participants. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: One of the first articles about the topic in Germany (April 2020)

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Porn problems [Siegessäule]

“We’re planning to start a petition to European legislators regarding the Digital Services Act, to demand equal treatment for porn platforms as any other platforms (e.g., Facebook) and to demand protection from discrimination of these hege- monic platforms,” says Pappel, adding that “Berlin is the capital for sexual innovation and deviation”… and should remain so. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: Quoting Bruce La Bruce: “I’m tired of people looking down their noses at those who appear in or make pornography, even though they watch pornography themselves.” The story also helped me researching OnlyFans story for DW (February 2021)

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Nicola Samorì and neo-Manierism (ITALIAN) [ArtTribune]

The exhibition of Nicola Samorì (Forlì, 1977) at the Berlin branch of the EIGEN + ART gallery has created a rare consensus among artists, gallery owners and collectors. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: The article speaks about Samorì “skinning” his paintings. The term is now normally used by art commentators (October 2019)

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